N.J. Governor torpedoes legislation allowing veterinarians to claim volunteer work as veterinary continuing education

Jul 23, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
Trenton, N.J. -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would allow veterinarians and physicians to substitute volunteer services for continuing education credits.

The failed Senate Bill 515 would have allowed veterinarians to replace up to 10 hours of continuing education credits by performing free spay and neuters. Physicians could also make up 10 hours by providing various services to the needy.

While Christie commended the bill for encouraging the two groups to volunteer, he expressed concern that the fundamental purpose of continuing education is not necessarily served by volunteerism.

Christie argues that the legislation, as drafted, would allow both professions to substitute the same number of hours for volunteer work, yet physicians are required to maintain many more hours of continuing education. For example, in a two-year licensure period, veterinarians are required to earn 20 hours of continuing education, while physicians must earn 100.

Christie called for discussion on the topic by the appropriate licensing boards. He also recommended that veterinarians' volunteer work not be limited to just spaying and neutering procedures.